APAMO says community participation needed to manage natural resources

While citrus farmers battle with the leprosies disease, APAMO is attempting to encourage community participation in the management of natural resources. A symposium was held today to report on recent scientific research and projects conducted by NGOs as well as to discuss initiatives by relevant stakeholders. The symposium was attended by a number of representatives from environmental groups from Belize and Chetumal. APAMO’s Project Officer, Ralna Lamb says that tourism development in Placencia is an area that requires constant monitoring.

Ralna Lamb, Project Officer, APAMO

“Today APAMO held its first protected areas symposium, the focus being involving communities in integrated resource management so we had presentations from various community based NGOs as well as some regulating bodies that are involved in the management of these natural resources. The researches basically highlight community involvement; how is it that we can involve communities in the management of these resources.”

Delahnie Bain

Ralna Lamb

“How did this initiative come about?”

Ralna Lamb

“The initiative came about because as an organization we recognize that a lot of the time the work that is being done in Belize in these various protected areas are not being highlighted in the public. The public isn’t aware of the different research that is being done. Many times these organizations present this research at symposiums that are held internationally. So we saw the need for us to conduct one nationally for our local NGOs so that the Belizean public can become involved and become aware of what’s happening. Some of the issues that are being discussed here today for example we had one presentation from the World Wildlife Fund whereby Adrian Vernon presented on the effects of development in the Placencia area which has resulted in the removal of a lot of mangrove. We’re looking at how the community is reacting to this, their involvement in planting the proper gules and the transportation of the mangroves and so on. So this symposium basically is looking at the communities recognizing that there is a problem when it comes to the management of these resources and how is it that they are reacting to this problem, what solutions are they developing and more importantly how are they implementing these solutions.”

Channel 5